Sebastian de Souza, Tom Hollander, and Shohreh Aghdashloo to Star in “The Alchemist” Which is Set to Begin Principal Photography in Morocco in September
(Newswire.com) – Westbrook Studios, Netter Films, PalmStar Media announced the film adaptation of Paulo Coelho’s beloved literary masterpiece and international bestseller, The Alchemist, is moving into production. Sebastian de Souza, Tom Hollander, and Shohreh Aghdashloo are set to star in the film, which will begin principal photography this September in Morocco.
De Souza (The Great, Normal People) joins as Santiago; he is cast alongside Hollander (The King’s Man, Birdman, The Night Manager) and Aghdashloo (House of Sand and Fog, The Promise). They are joined by Jordi Molla (Jack Ryan, The Music of Silence), Youssef Kerkour (House of Gucci), and Ashraf Barhom (Tyrant, By Any Means). The film is directed by Kevin Frakes.
The film is produced by Will Smith and Jon Mone for Westbrook Studios; Frakes and Raj Singh for PalmStar; Gil Netter for Netter Films.
“The Alchemist” follows a young Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago on an epic quest for life-changing treasure. The book is a perpetual international best-seller and beloved literary work; the film’s cast and crew represent the authenticity of the story’s setting in Spain and North Africa, as well as the diversity of a global and diverse production.
“Hundreds of millions of people over the past three decades have found inspiration in ‘The Alchemist’ to pursue their dreams, listen to their hearts, and never to lose hope when faced with adversity,” said producer Gil Netter. “Paulo Coelho’s words are profound, and now we will finally be able to bring those words to life.”
“The Alchemist is insightful and magical. It has given people the courage to take chances and chase their dreams. And now, the film can do the same,” said Jon Mone, Co-President of Westbrook Studios, Head of Motion Pictures.
“Paulo Coelho wrote it best,” said producer and director Kevin Frakes of PalmStar Media. “When you really want something to happen, the whole universe will conspire so that your wish comes true. It has long been my dream to bring this story to the world, and now we can do that in a way that speaks to Coelho’s vision, with a cast and crew that represents the global well of support for The Alchemist.”
The film’s production team also includes Oscar-Winning cinematographer Claudio Miranda; Production Designer Dominic Watkins; Oscar-Nominated Editor Steve Rosenblum; Costumer Designer Arjun Bhasin; GRAMMY Nominee Music Supervisor Kenna; and Oscar Nominated Composer Carter Burwell. Denise Chamian and Priscilla John handled casting. Script was co-written by Frakes and Ryan Kreston. Zakaria Alaoui is the local producer and Manu Gargi is executive producing.
The Alchemist has sold more than 100 million copies in 56 languages, and holds the Guinness World Record for most translated work by a living author. It is one of the most legendary pieces of IP not yet translated into film, and inspires more than 5 million organic conversations online each month.
Principal photography begins Morocco in September 2021, with global distribution slated for Holiday 2022. For more information, visit www.thealchemist.film and on Instagram and Facebook at @alchemistfilm and Twitter @alchemist_film.
About Westbrook Studios
Westbrook Studios is a subsidiary of Westbrook Inc., the media company launched in 2019 by founders Jada Pinkett Smith, Will Smith, Miguel Melendez and Ko Yada, focused on empowering artists to tell stories that connect the world. Led by Co-Presidents, Jon Mone (Film) and Terence Carter (Television), Westbrook Studios is home to a rapidly expanding footprint in premium motion picture and television projects. In film, upcoming Westbrook Studios projects include the highly anticipated KING RICHARD, based on the life of Richard Williams, father to tennis greats Serena and Venus, EMANCIPATION which sold to Apple in the largest festival acquisition deal in film history, and the remake of the 1980s classic PLANE, TRAINS, & AUTOMOBILES, starring Will Smith and Kevin Hart. In TV, Westbrook Studios recently launched Amend: The Fight for America, a powerful, six-part, Netflix docuseries that uses a groundbreaking, multimedia narrative format to explore the Fourteenth Amendment of the US Constitution. The studio also recently announced an unprecedented two-season order from Peacock for Bel-Air, the dramatic reboot of Will Smith’s iconic ‘The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air’ based on Morgan Cooper’s 2019 viral short film and set to premiere in 2022.
About Netter Films
Academy Award-nominated producer Gil Netter leads Netter Films with a slate of movies that have earned more than $1.5 billion at the global box office. Films produced by Netter notably include “Life of Pi,” directed by Ang Lee, nominated for 11 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and winning four Oscars. The film was also honored by the American Film Institute as Best Film of the Year, nominated for three Golden Globe Awards – including Best Picture and Best Director, and won the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score.
Upcoming Netter Films include “Jerry and Marge Go Large,” for Paramount+ starring Bryan Cranston and Annett Benning, to shoot this summer, directed by Academy Award winner David Frankel, from the screenplay by Emmy-winner Brad Copeland. Netter Films is currently in postproduction on “Mixtape,” directed by Valarie Weiss, and developing “Atlantis,” a musical feature inspired by Pharrell Williams’ childhood. Disney+ recently released the Netter Films’ family superhero-comedy “Flora & Ulysses,” directed by Lena Khan adapted by Copeland, from the best-selling book by Kate DiCamillo.
Marking his third collaboration with writer/director Destin Daniel Cretton, Netter produced “Just Mercy.” Based on the celebrated memoir by Bryan Stevenson, “Just Mercy” garnered widespread critical acclaim and went on to be honored by the 2020 NAACP Image Awards as Outstanding Motion Picture, Outstanding Ensemble Cast in a Motion Picture, and with acting wins for stars Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Foxx. Netter produced one of the highest-grossing faith-based movies ever made — 2017’s “The Shack,” starring Sam Worthington and Octavia Spencer. Earlier, Netter produced the 2009 box office phenomenon “The Blind Side,” nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture. The film’s star, Sandra Bullock, won the Academy Award for Best Actress and the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama and Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role. Netter also produced “The Glass Castle,” directed by Destin Daniel Cretton; “Water for Elephants” starring Robert Pattinson, Reese Witherspoon, and Christoph Waltz; “Marley and Me” starring Jennifer Anniston and Luke Wilson; “Phone Booth” starring Colin Farrell and directed by Joel Schumacher;” Flicka” starring Alison Lohman, Maria Bello, and Tim McGraw; “Fever Pitch” starring Drew Barrymore and Jimmy Fallon; and “A Walk in the Clouds” starring Keanu Reeves, directed by Alfonso Arau.
Before forming Netter Films, Gil oversaw the production of “Ghost” as president of Zucker Brothers Productions. Written by Bruce Joel Rubin and directed by Jerry Zucker, starring Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore, Tony Goldwyn, and Whoopi Goldberg, the film was a massive critical and commercial success in 1990, grossing more than $505 million at the box office on a production budget of $22 million. “Ghost” went on to earn five Academy Awards nominations and Oscar wins for Best Supporting Actress for Goldberg and Best Original Screenplay. In addition, Netter executive produced Oscar, Golden Globe, and BAFTA-nominated “My Best Friend’s Wedding,” starring Julia Roberts; “First Knight,” “My Life,” “Naked Gun 33 1/3: Final Insult,” and “Naked Gun 2: The Smell of Fear.”
About PalmStar Media
PalmStar Media is an independent motion picture finance and production company based in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. PalmStar was founded in 1999 by writer, director and producer Kevin Frakes while he attended film school at NYU. Since its inception, PalmStar has produced and financed over 40 films, including Split, Glass, Sing Street, Collateral Beauty, John Wick, John Wick: Chapter II, and American Ultra. PalmStar is focused on finding unique stories that explore the intrinsic humanity inside each of us. Recent projects include The Catcher Was a Spy and the critically-acclaimed Hereditary. Upcoming projects include a biopic of acclaimed author Ian Fleming, a scripted series focused on icon Doc Holliday, and the long-awaited adaptation of Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist for Holiday 2022.